Jun 05, 2014

By Lasha Watson

It was early in my career as a BodyTalk Instructor, and I was filled with passion and was eager to spread this work to as many people as I could. I had a vision to introduce BodyTalk to the East coast of Canada.  I did some research, and there were no practitioners in Halifax, NS, and only one person in St. John, NB, at the time. This seemed like a perfect venture for me.

I was 24 years old with a six month old daughter, $5000.00 in my savings account, and a vision. I had everything I felt I needed except a travel nanny and business partner.

I shared my vision with my Mom, and she was eager to visit the East coast as my travel nanny. I knew Amanda Rollefstad from previous classes.  I traveled with their family to a variety of BodyTalk courses, often like a third child, so she was a natural fit to work with.  I just needed to sell her on my vision. I remember calling her, presenting my idea, and asked her if she wanted to join me.  And, with much excitement, she said yes!

I couldn't believe my vision was officially in the works, Amanda and I began to make a game plan, we set the date of our first trip, and all the steps leading to get us there.

We began by going through the yellow pages and dividing up all the local practitioners of all varieties. We designed a script of what we were going to say when we made our (what Amanda called) cold calls.  I couldn't use that term as it scared me, so I thought of these calls as an invitation to our event. Amanda laughed at me and said "call them what you want".  Each day over the next week, I would wake up at 6:00 a.m. to ensure I was able to get all my contacts called before my daughter, Lacey, woke up. We invited everyone we spoke with to our public presentation and asked if we could send them an information package as a follow up to the call with two complimentary tickets to our public presentation.

Venue secured, calls were made, information packages sent, flights booked, and nobody registered for any of our events, but  I am still filled with excitement.  Amanda, with clear practical thinking, says, "We have nobody registered.  Should we still go? What if nobody shows up?" My simple reply was, "If nobody shows, then let's make a trip out of it." I thought to myself we will never know unless we go. "Ok", she said, "Will see you in Halifax!"

Phew!  She is still in, I thought.

We arrive at the hotel, getting the room set up, watching the clock, and waiting for everyone to show up. As time was passing, we were facing our biggest fear of nobody showing up.

Here we have invested in our flights, hotel rooms, and conference room for a week. I remember thinking maybe I shouldn't have told Amanda that we should have come.  I began to question myself.  Was this courage or plain stupidity? I have now spent my savings account, told Amanda it will all work out and, to be honest, I had no clue what I was doing.  I was just trusting a vision.

At about 7:10, one gentleman arrives eager to hear what we have to say. He walked in, looked around and said, "I am really interested in hearing what you have to say, but I need to go drop off my daughter.  Can I do that and come back?" Amanda and I looked at each other and said, "Sure" since there was no one else there. He left, and we were sure he wasn't coming back. Fifteen minutes later, he showed up ready to learn. We proceeded with our presentation and demo for one person. This one gentleman wasn't interested in attending any of our classes at that time but was willing to share our upcoming classes for our next trip. This was enough to keep our spark alive.  We spent the rest of the week, going face to face to meet people, introduced them to BodyTalk, and explored the city.

Ding, Ding, Ding, Round Two

Since our first trip was an investment, we found ourselves being more mindful of how and where we spent money. We found a new venue at the local massage college where we built a great relationship. We got BodyTalk recognized as continuing credits, we were able to use their massage tables instead of flying with them, and I had a girlfriend move there so we had a place to sleep. A big Thanks to Amanda's city smarts.  She learned the bus route and her brisk 10 minute walk.  We were all set. Things felt like they were falling into place once again.

The time has come for our second presentation, we are all set up, and have 45 minutes to spare. We had our rental car and, if we were able to return it before 6:00, we would save an additional day rental fee.  As it turned out, there was a drop off center not far from our venue. Amanda said, "It will be just a quick 10 minute walk."  I thought 10 minutes doesn't sound too bad so I agree. We arrive to drop off the car to notice that I forgot to take out the car seat. 

 As time is running close, we need to pick up the pace.  Take a minute to imagine this next scenario.

I am now jogging bare foot, uphill, with a car seat to ensure we make it on time for our presentation that we still do not have anyone registered for!  This was another moment I question myself, "Is this courage or plain stupidity."  I didn't want to answer that so I chose to believe it was courage to motivate me to keep going. 

Dripping in sweat and trying to catch my breath, we made it with minutes to spare! We patiently waited for the flood of people to arrive for our presentation. This time we had 2 people attend the presentation.  Our numbers were improving!  We had our first two students as these two attendee's signed up for Fundamentals.

This trip we also wanted to cover more ground, so we decided to split up. We connected with the one local practitioner in St. John, New Brunswick, and she was willing to coordinate a public presentation and an Access class. This was refreshing to have some local support.

This trip we were both doing what we love - teaching BodyTalk!  Amanda stayed in Halifax teaching the Fundamentals, and I was to make it back to co-teach the last day.

As I started my drive back to Halifax I am faced with the snowstorm of the year, roads closing, and driving on a highway I have never seen before, not able to see two feet in front of me.  The only thing keeping me on the road were the rumble strips.  This was the only way for me to know which side of the road I was on was based on what side of the vehicle was vibrating.

Breathing myself through this, I again asked, "What am I doing?"  Within minutes, I received a phone call from Amanda, encouraging me to continue saying the roads will get better, as she was standing in a foot of snow, in now pouring rain at a bus stop with no umbrella soaking wet. In that moment, I didn't complain and thanked my lucky stars I had a friend who was still committed and encouraging to work towards this vision.

After this trip, I was really beginning to question my vision, two trips, two students, empty bank account, and a run uphill barefooted with a car seat, sleepless nights attending a teething baby, just to follow a vision. I really began to think, this is pure stupidity, but I really like the word courage it boosted my ego enough to continue once more.

Third Time's the Charm

As the weeks went by and the ripple effect occurred, I found myself recovering from the trip and students were registering for our next class.  As we went back the third time, we had a class of 16 NEW students. As we co-taught this class, it was a moment I will never forget, and a lesson we learned. When you have a vision and the courage to do it, you may be faced with moments of doubt and questioning yourself of stupidity, but once you get to there, all the small stuff seems to disappear leaving a feeling of gratitude.

During this venture, I learned a lot about myself and did many things I never wanted to do. Like making cold call, learning the local bus route, and travelling with my Mom, just to mention a few.

So next time you have a vision and your feeling uncomfortable, take a deep breath and keep going. Think of me running uphill barefooted with a car seat to make a dream become a reality.

Halifax and the Martimes are now fully functioning BodyTalk locations, with their own instructors, who are now nurturing what was once a vision.  When you are blessed with a vision, no matter how big or small, trust in yourself, don't give up, and great things will happen.

To conclude, a big Thank You to Amanda for joining me on this adventure.  If it wasn't for your continued support of my vision, that became ours, it wouldn't have flourished.

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